Playing Through The Blues Review

Here's a sneak peak review video I did for Playing Through The Blues by Griff Hamlin:

Checkout Playing Through The Blues

Playing Through The Blues, by Griff Hamlin, is a solid course that will teach you how to play the blues guitar. I’ve looked through the course extensively, and below (and in the video above) you’ll see my observations.

Requirements:

  • You must have a good handle on all the basic chords. Barre chords, all the open chords, major, minor, diminished, and seventh chords are a good start.
  • You must understand and be comfortable with reading and using tablature or musical notation (staff). All the sample solos, licks and riffs are notated using both of these methods, although there are also video examples for nearly everything which help a lot.

The Good:

  • Griff gives examples for everything, both audio and video.
  • Everything is notated so you can follow along with tab or sheet music style.
  • Griff uses “boxes” to describe different scale patterns which gives him an effective way to refer to different patterns during the lessons.
  • Lots of sample riffs and licks to give you ideas
  • Several sample solos complete with video tutorial, notation, audio examples, and jam tracks. Being able to play solos of this caliber is basically the goal of the program.
  • Several famous blues songs broken down in fine detail. Griff shows you how to play them using the techniques the “masters” used (BB King etc)
  • Members only blog where Griff personally answers questions related to the course
  • 56 Day Guarantee on the product: if you’re not happy, you get your money back

The Bad:

  • No DVD option so you have to download everything (not a big deal, but it might affect the odd person or two).
  • Not much emphasis on theory, which in my opinion is critical to understanding the guitar, and how to play it. However, he does give you what you need to know, even if he doesn’t always explain why or how, from a theory perspective. I realize some of you actually view this as a positive, but hey -- I’m the one doing the review! =)

Conclusions:

If you’re familiar with chords and tab, and want to learn blues guitar, then this is likely a good course for you. I would rate this course as good for most beginners, and even some intermediate players. However, if you’re already comfortable composing your own solos in major, minor and pentatonic scale patterns, then you probably won’t learn a whole lot beyond the specific riffs and solos that Griff teaches (which are nonetheless handy ones to have in your toolbelt).

Checkout Playing Through The Blues

Tags: ,

12 Responses to “Playing Through The Blues Review”

  1. ChaliQ March 7, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    Jonathan, ChaliQ here, I have Griffs version of Blues unleashed which is a very good course a bit intense at first but Griff's style of teaching really helps you through it. Like most people I thought I knew more than I did & got this course instead of Blues for the beginner & found myself just trying to go straight through the DVD's like Griff but found out very quickly that you must get the first parts down pat before moving on. It is working much better for me that I now also opened the manual that came with it. How does this new course differ from the one I have & does it explain the 5 boxes of the scales anywhere as well as the I,IV,V parts of chord reading?

  2. Jonathan March 8, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    Hi ChaliQ,

    Actually the one you have (Blues Guitar Unleashed) is the new version of Playing Through The Blues. This review was done a little while ago, and I haven't yet had a chance to update it with the BGU program, though I will be doing that shortly. You're up to date 🙂

  3. Don Randall April 23, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    Hi Jonathan,

    Thanks for the guitar tips.

  4. Leonard Cunningham May 10, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    Hi Jonathan, I'm really enjoying our your tips and lessons specialy with blues, I'm self taught know pretty much all cords, but I cant' read tabs. Can you help?

  5. Jonathan May 12, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    Hi Leonard, I don't have a lesson on how to read tab yet - but that's a good idea... I'll put it on the list!

  6. Brenda July 9, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    Thanks Johnathan,
    got Griffs stuff, hes the best i seen so far.

  7. scottiefm July 23, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    i took the griff blues study course and found it a good insight to lead blues guitar.. the other boxes (pent Am is ok) needs to elaborate on the others fingering boxes and provide music to play it with....

  8. Steve. b September 29, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    Hi....

    As you have agreed the course you reviewed has been replaced by 'Blues Guitar Unleashed' which is aimed at the intermediate guitarist but to compensate for the beginning guitarist there is 'Beginning Blues Guitar' and both course come in DVD, CD and printed manual format.

    I have only been playing for about a year but can now jam using 14 different rhythm sections and various lead parts up and down the neck. With out going into to much detail the courses are well structured and having a manual to clarify the DVD's makes life so much easier.

    The courses also includes the I, IV & V chords method and the 7ths, 9ths, 11ths etc. Also there is a supporting theory course about to be released.

    This is a constructive reply and not a criticism of your review.

    thanks.....Steve,

  9. Skip Kanosky November 18, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    Thanks for the info- debating the purchase- I haven't read music for
    years or ever tabs- What course do you should I start with? My
    background has been rhythm guitar not lead but interested in
    learning

    • Jonathan November 22, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

      Hi Skip,

      Griff's course is good; however it does depend to some degree on reading music & tab. For something like what you're looking for, I'd recommend having a look here: http://www.riffninja.com/improvising/

      Cheers

  10. Stan February 13, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    Jonathan, I have Beginning Blues Guitar Unleashed and its for guys like me who would have just picked up a guitar 5 min ago!. Griff is EXCELENT ! Takes you by the hand! It also has DVD which I have. Much like the I-IV-V DVD a TOP PRODUCTION and between the two of you I'm a HAPPY CAMPER! Thanks..Stan

  11. Mike F August 3, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    Jonathan,
    I just got your Email on this today (8/3/12), but I noticed that for some reason several of the replies below are dated a long time ago.   Just to add my experience......I had purchased Griff Hamlin's "Playing through the Blues" a couple years ago and in my opinion it was great.   Since then I bought his "Blues Guitar Unleashed" which is a more expanded version of blues lessons that does come in convenient DVD format.   I'm a decent intermediate level player, and in my opinion (as well as many others who have stated it online), Griff is a very excellent instructor, with a very thorough and well-structured course and great way of delivering the material.....he definitely understands the guitar, and the Blues.  

Leave a Reply